Luke 17 v 7-10 “7 “Suppose one of you has a servant ploughing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
Having just taught that as disciples we should treat people with respect and that we should live a life of continuing to forgive, Jesus then warns the disciples not to be like the Pharisees and think themselves superior for doing so. This is after all our duty. The English translation says we are servants. But the Greek ‘doulos’ is slave. The slave in this parable is ploughing the field, farming the sheep, preparing the food and getting everything ready for the master. That was his duty. Now we might think he deserved to be thanked. The parable suggests otherwise. There is no room for entitlement whether that be of thanks or a sense of achievement. If you receive from God it is purely grace. Nothing of what you have done has earned the praise. It is your duty to obey. I am not sure there is much discipleship without duty.
Let us go and do our duty today by serving God in all we that we do.